The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that in couples where the women is over 35 years old, one third have fertility issues and are turning to fertility treatments. Well, that was me. However, unfortunately a bunch of the women I met through the process were barely over 30.
Source: Management of the Infertile Woman by Helen A. Carcio and The Fertility Sourcebook by M. Sara Rosenthal
WHAT CAUSES INFERTILITY IN WOMEN?
• Age is a major factor, especially for women over 35.
• Lack of ovulation, often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is a hormone imbalance.
• Blocked fallopian tubes, resulting from pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. If the tubes are blocked, the egg cannot travel from the ovary to the uterus.
• Being overweight or underweight can also make it difficult to conceive.
• Smoking increases the risk of infertility.
• Abnormalities in the cervix or uterus.
• Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous clumps of tissue and muscle on the walls of the uterus, can prevent successful pregnancy.
• About 20 percent of cases are unexplained. Future research is expected to focus on gene and cellular function.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Bernard Cantor
There are five main options that are usually recommended to couples, depending on what doctors believe is causing their infertility:
- Oral medication, such as clomid and serophene, to improve ovulation.
- Injections of hormones that stimulate eggs to grow in the ovary and ovulate.
- Surgery to remove scar tissue in the woman’s fallopian tubes, where eggs must travel, but which can become blocked or scarred.
- Intrauterine insemination, in which the sperm is placed in the uterus during ovulation. This reduces the distance the sperm has to travel.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF), in which the egg and sperm are combined in lab and the resulting embryos are placed inside the uterus. Before the fertilization, the woman has to take hormones to stimulate ovulation, so that doctors can extract a number of eggs.
Here's the link to the article.
Here are links to previous blog posts:
Here are links to chapter one of my book: